United States v. Gilton

Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Democracy & Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and New America's Open Technology Institute in Support of Defendant-Appellant Seeking Affirmance.

Brief filed: 11/03/2016


United States v. Gilton

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 16-10109

Prior Decision

On appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 13-CR-00764-WHO-1 (E.D. Mich.)


Gilton's cell site location information (CSLI) obtained by the government reveals invasive and detailed information about his location and movements over time. CSLI reveals private, invasive, and increasingly precise information about individuals' locations and movements. Gilton's location information obtained by law enforcement reveals voluminous and private information about his location and movements. Obtaining 37 days' worth of cell phone location data is a "search" under the Fourth Amendment requiring a warrant based upon probable cause. Cell phone providers' ability to access customers' location data does not eliminate cell phone users' reasonable expectation of privacy in that data.

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Nathan Freed Wessler, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, New York, NY; Linda Lye, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, San Francisco, CA; David M. Porter, NACDL, Sacramento, CA.